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“Great sights and a wealth of information”

Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Ranked #1 of 115 things to do in Fort Myers
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Visitors to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers will enjoy seeing the winter residences of famous inventors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. There are historical buildings, award-winning gardens, the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Inventors Museum. The museum has hundreds of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits. Edison Ford offers many tour options, including special "Inside the Homes" and "Inside the Laboratory" Tours on select days. The audio tour is available in English, Spanish, German and French. Historian led tours are also offered in German and Spanish on select days. Group tours can be arranged in advance. River cruises are offered daily and dining options are available, including waterfront dining.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Florida
Level Contributor
195 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great sights and a wealth of information”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Needed some time away from the sun and visited the museum and lab. Such a great museum. Very interesting and educational. A must see when in the area, You can take a guided tour, audio tour, or self guided. Either way there is a lot to see and learn. The staff in very friendly and will give you additional information and stories. Worth seeing.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank family021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,161 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Missouri
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great place to take guests”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My husband and I have a second home in Ft Myers, so when our parents came to visit, we took them to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. They really enjoyed it. The scenery is gorgeous and there are so many weird plants to see. It is just a very nice, relaxing experience. The museum is very interesting. There are always lots of families when we tour. I would definitely recommend seeing this if you are in the area.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank jonzgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grapevine, Texas
Level Contributor
169 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Closer than you think This Historical Location is worth a visit”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

It was a rainy day, and we were looking for something to entertain kids and adults. This idea was suggested by two people, and although it looked far away on a map (from Ft. Myers Beach) it was actually pretty close and easy to get to. There were six of us, and we did a self directed audio tour. I recommend that for large groups, because you go at your own pace. Beautiful grounds, really beautiful, and you learn a lot. Beware of falling mangoes, really. If this was my residence, it would be year round.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Islandbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
45 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Beautiful Place and Lots of History”
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Great place to visit for the history and a gorgeous location for a wedding looking over the water. My friends got married here and it was absolutely perfect!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Space Coast, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A walk in the park”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This attraction neither thrills the young with wild rides nor challenges the adult to think and experiment as Edison and Ford did. Some observations from our audio-guided visit on July 5th:

The legalists seem to have convinced the park management to be most liability-conscious. Examples:

1. The banyan ban: The banyan trees on the estate are most impressive. See photo 1. Ropes and signs keep the visitor back with cautions to not climb. What happened? Did some visitors or their children get injured scrambling on the trees and then legally assaulted the Estate with attorneys? Or did attorneys scare the management with liability scenarios of what might happen? You would think that today, in the 21st century, hosts would have advanced to be gracious and guests would have advanced to be respectful to those who invited them!?!
2. The mango hazard: We saw beautiful mango trees with excellent fruit all over the estate. See photo 2. Faced with what to do with the fruit (maybe harvest and sell or harvest and give away or let the visitors take some), the management decided that the best answer was to let the fruit fall to the ground and get carried off as trash.
3. Edison-Ford trivia: We learned how Edison bought the property for $27.50 per acre and how Mina Edison had banana trees planted around the swimming pool to screen famous guests from on-looking boaters on the Caloosahatchee River waterfront and how Ford was a handsome dancer and musician. Did Edison really stiff Tesla? Did Edison really electrocute animals (including an elephant!) as part of “research?” Was Ford really one of Hitler’s financial backers? Hard biography about Edison and Ford seems to have been censored out. Politically incorrect? The gift shop had a very good book about Florida orchids but we could not find any biography books about Edison or Ford.

If you are looking for a walk in a park with lots of trees and plants – complete with resident horticulturist – and view very well-kept architecture from the Edison-Ford era and don’t mind a $20 admission, then this is for you! If you would like to learn about the life and times of Edison and Ford, you might be better off staying home and surfing the net.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank GoForWalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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